Oh, the excitement!

I can sew! I can’t tell you how happy I am to find out that I can continue to sew without using either of my feet. It is also slightly embarrassing as I didn’t realise that my machine has a Start/Stop button until a colleague mentioned she had used a machine with one. That rang a faint bell and I raced home to find out that my machine has that magic button! I can now get on with my Laurel, my skirt and goodness knows what else! It is almost like an early Christmas present - one of my stress relievers is back in the game.  

Anyway, enough excitement. What I actually want to talk about today is
me-made-may'13
I first came across this last year and thought it was a great idea. This year I’m signing up to take part. Ok, so the excitement continues! For those of you who don't know about this challenge head of to Zoe's page. Some of the pledges are amazing. 

I decided I would take part while I was on the bus. I had images of all the outfits I would wear, flashing past like the buildings on the route home. And then I was jolted awake from my daydream. Just like that feeling when the bus driver hits the breaks too hard and you jolt forward, I realised that I couldn’t fulfil this challenge the way I wanted to. Why? Quite simply, I don’t have enough home sewn items. If I pledged to wear something every day then you would be seeing my wearing the seven same outfits, or slight variations of, each week. That would be pretty boring for me, and for you. 

While I can’t fulfil my daydream I can still set myself a challenge. I can easily increase the number of items available if I finish attaching some bias binding to a top and replace a zip in a skirt and maybe seeing if I can save some of my first makes. Add that to the (hopefully) 4 patterns I am due to finish between now and then and I should be more than ok. I’ve decided to tie this in with my 20:20 challenge to give me a extra push. So, here goes: 

 'I, Claire at iwanttobeaturtle, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear one home made item for fives days each week for the duration of May 2013. In addition I pledge to make two new items and repair at least one.’ 

I won’t be posting daily photos of my outfits, mainly because I am lazy (!), so I’ll do a round up each week. Anyone else taking part?

Also, to readers using mobile devices I have finally managed to work out how to get the photos to show! 

Goodbye and Hello

I had thought that my first post would be one where I could share a recent success. Instead it is one that is bittersweet. I have had to say goodbye to my first ever sewing machine. Six or seven years ago I purchased a Brother XL 3500 when I decided to make a dress. I didn’t really know what I wanted back then but it was a great basic machine and we’ve had some adventures together. 

Recently I have been using it more and more and it just can’t cope. I have endless problems with the upper tension and the upper thread breaks at least three times when sewing a long seam. Despite cleaning it carefully, giving it extra love, and paying closer than normal attention to needle and thread combinations, the problem remains. So last weekend I caved in and upgraded.

I remember reading Kerry’s post earlier this year and thinking I would be rather upset if that happened to me. And boy, I was! I’m working on a big project as a gift with a tight deadline and had planned to spend the weekend working on it. When I realised I couldn’t I felt quite down and disorientated, like I had lost something dear to me. A feeling that remained with me all weekend. Luckily a surprise visit to my Dad and his partner managed to cheer me a bit. 

So what did I get? A Janome DSK30 and it arrived yesterday. I was so excited that I was counting the minutes to the end of the day and rushed home from work to set it up immediately. 

Janome DSK30.JPG

My lovely new machine!

It is great and I have loved using it. I have only sewn straight seams so far (more on the project soon) but it is much smoother than the Brother. It is also a lot quieter. My boyfriend can now continue to watch the TV without turning it up while I sew - we have an open plan living area and I have to use the table as there isn’t anywhere else in the flat to set up the machine. 

I'm still not certain on the look of the machine. Orange isn't my favourite colour and I like curves a little more than sharp lines. I can’t wait to try out some of these stitches. The cross stitch one is calling!

Janome DSK30 2.jpg

Oooh, new stitches to try